Bob's Garage? Huh?
Ok - I'll admit it - it's a pretty lame name for a section on the Global Flyfisher. Martin already had "The Lab" and Steve has his "Bench". Heck, Raske has an entire geography to himself. The kitchen is a favorite of mine, but it's not really appropriate for a web site devoted to fly fishing. That's ok - I like the garage. It's cool and dry, has good lighting, a decent radio, and it's all mine.
There is a story behind "The Garage". Not too long ago my wife and I were renting a two story house that had a tiny little room upstairs with no closet. Since it was just the two of us, and since we already had a spare bedroom for family visitors, this room was quickly claimed as the "Sports Room" - the place where all my fly fishing and fly tying stuff was stored, along with anything else not suitable for public viewing.
That room was both a blessing and a curse. It was nice to have a place that was mine and mine only. I had to keep the door closed to keep the cats out, so it really was an oasis in an otherwise ordinary home. There were days where I couldn't turn around in the room without crushing something underfoot. It was tiny, but cozy. The downside was that it was uninsulated and the heat register didn't seem so free flowing. In the summer it was a sauna and in the winter it was a deep freeze. I wasn't about to complain, however, as I had my own little place to play that wasn't subject to our normal house rules.
Along came my daughter Erin, a new house, and before you could say "mortgage payments" my sports room stuff was been banished to the garage. It's a three bedroom house, but now our "extra" room is the guest room since Erin has a room to herself. With another on the way, it may not be too long before I rename this area "Bob's Shed", but we'll play that one by ear.
Gone are the days of having a dedicated spot to tie flies. You
know what? I tie more now than I did before. It's a bit of a pain
to setup and tear down every time I want to tie, and I hope to
remedy that situation before too long, but being able to set up
shop in the family room while my wife and I are relaxing for the
evening certainly has increased the time I can devote to tying.
No longer is tying time spent away from the family. That has made
a big difference and far outweighs the nuisance of working out
of a tool box on a foldup table.
With that long winded explanation of the name behind us, let's
talk a bit about what the section is all about. Like most fly
tyers, I am a materials scrounge. Anything and everything is considered
a fly tying material until proven otherwise, from my mother's
bathroom rug to the gook in our dryer's lint trap. All my materials
are stored in the garage in various tubs, crates, organizers,
bags, and sometimes just tossed on a table or the cement floor.
I thought it would be fun to talk about some of that stuff.
While my focus will be materials, we'll touch upon tying techniques
where appropriate as well as presenting representative patterns
that make use of each material.
Please don't think that I'm claiming to be an "expert"
in fly tying materials. All I can do is relate my experiences
and maybe we'll all learn a thing or two in the process. Writing
forces me to think about things in a different way, and to do
a little research, so I'm definitely learning with each article.
It is my sincere desire that readers will write in with their
own thoughts and ideas on the materials we discuss. I would be
delighted to update these features with information sent in from
our readers. I don't know many fly tyers that aren't a little
nuts about materials, so talk to me. I want to hear what you think
about what I write and I want to know if you have other uses for
these materials, even if your thoughts contradict my own (maybe
especially so). You find me here.
WIth that - the garage is open. C'mon in - the coffe's almost
done. I hope you don't mind the country music.